5) Search engines like google are intricately linked to our lives, given the volume and nature of information we search over these entities. Discuss  the ethical concerns revolving around search engines. 

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Topic ethical concerns and dilemmas in government and private institutions

5) Search engines like google are intricately linked to our lives, given the volume and nature of information we search over these entities. Discuss  the ethical concerns revolving around search engines. (150 Words)

Stanford

Washington Post

Why this question

We are heading towards fourth industrial revolution, in which IT technologies will play a much greater role in our lives. Universally, search engines are being used to access information about almost everything ranging from sports and entertainment to politics, work and news. Recently, Facebook has been involved in a huge controversy around privacy issue and search engines hold much larger amount  and more sensitive data than Facebook and they could be the next focus of attention. The question is related to GS-4 syllabus under the following heading- ethical concerns and dilemmas in government and private institutions; laws, rules, regulations and conscience as sources of ethical guidance; accountability and ethical governance; strengthening of ethical and moral values in governance; ethical issues in international relations and funding; corporate governance.

Key demand of the question.

The question wants us to identify and discuss upon various ethical concerns around search engines.  

Directive word

Discuss- we have to dig deep into the issue and identify all the ethical aspects involved. We have to identify various ethical concerns revolving around the search engines and discuss each of them briefly.

Structure of the answer

Introduction – you can introduce your answer by highlighting the nature and volume of data generated by our interaction with search engines and by mentioning that a lot of ethical concerns are generated by such interaction.

Body- Divide the body of the answer into points and in each point discuss briefly, what are the ethical concerns involved;

e.g manipulation of search results, privacy issues, advertisement issue, non-voluntary disclosure of personal information etc.

Conclusion- you can conclude your answer by highlighting the importance of search engines and need to allay the ethical concerns surrounding them. You can also briefly mention a few suggestions that could be implemented to ensure ethical behaviour on part of search engines.